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AnniekNY

Eric: If You Had One Question To Ask US...

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It's easy: Back in the '70's you guys had the sound, lyrics, and looks of the band *I* wanted to be part of. You were the me I always wanted to be (if I could play a note or sing a tune). Now, 30+ years later, there's no way I can ever let that part of me go.

Dave

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mannoman   

I don't know — because it is not the same for everyone. I can only put it in the context of what I like and I don't think anyone else approaches music the same way I do.

Let me say at the outset, I am not a fan of bands. I can count on my fingers those that appeal to me. I like the sound(s) a band might produce for a particular song but usually not much else of what they do.

When I first heard GATW I was intrigued by "the sound" and was willing to plunk down the $2, which I could hardly spare in '72, to see if thesee guys had any legs. While I wasn't over the moon with all the songs I was very impressed by the depth and breadth of the music. I had enough music training to know this was not your average 4 chord progression band. I Can Remember was the clincher. It was clear there was more substance from these guys than I had heard from anyone else, to date, and I hoped a second album would be forthcoming. I was not disappointed.

I bought it as soon as I saw it. Although I liked IWBWY, when I got to Let's Pretend I was mesmerized. The melody, the harmonies, I wore it out. Then there was Nobody Knows, Might As Well and It seemed So Easy and I was hooked. The vocal blend (as Darlene said) was exquisite. These guys stood out from the rest of the musical crowd.

Let me try to move quickly — I saw a video of the Raspberries constructing a new song. It was called "Tonight" and instantly struck me as a classic. Nobody was going to duplicate this one. Something about the chord structure. I can't explain it but I sure could identify with it. It had to be their biggest hit to date. This had to be the song that put them on the map. Sadly, the average American has poor musical taste.

Ok this is getting long (I have already deleted two pages)—"Starting Over" was a masterpiece - the song, the album everything about it said "Monster album." I still think so. What went wrong? So many superior songs and arrangements. Heavy sigh!

I guess what I am trying to say is Raspberries were the whole package — musicianship, melodic songwriting, great lyrics — rolled into one band. What ever it is, it still touches my soul 34 years later. I wish I could have stated it more eloquently, Eric.

Simply stated it is just damned good music. :)

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MikeC   

I saw the band in L.A., and it has been a treasure of memories. I've heard their songs on the radio, since. But, I'm not sure that I heard their songs, before. It seems that I was listening to Pop music alot, growing up. I think I heard Go All The Way, before. To see and hear great music, and to see someone play to their style is fantastic.

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There are several reasons why I always liked the 'sounds' of the Raspberries Eric and why I'm here now.

1. The power and range of the lead vocalist. Perhaps you know him?

2. The variety of presentation from the band as an entire entity. No 'formula' sound here.

3. The vast majority of the collective output has well stood the test of time. The songs still make me feel good and grab the vital organs as they should.

4. The songs [most at any rate] were well written and as such are timeless.

5. Who feels it...KNOWS it. The fans have good taste. [better than average at the very least]

6. Those who inspired the Raspberries are a cut above and the influences shine through your collective output.

-------------------------------------

Sorry if I appear to be shining your silver-ware but I guarantee you that I wouldn't be here if I didn't feel exactly this way.

Thanks for all the music Eric. It's a terrific present. I owe you.

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I've been thinking about this a bit more. To me Raspberries' music is about playing rock n roll for the sheer joy of the music and how it should make you feel. So many other bands and artists seem to miss this point. It has to be "art rock" or "punk rock" or "grunge rock" etc. Or you have to sing with some sort of affection in your voice - anything to get your own style just for style's sake. People seem to have become embarrased to play it for that party feeling that the music has the power to invoke. That's what Raspberries mean to me - the music comes first, with care and attention to those unexpected but just right chord changes that take you off to a place you weren't expecting to go to but always knew it would feel so right once you got there; and played and sung the way good rock n roll was always meant to be. And hey what the hell, lets have a good time doing it too!

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Jeff   
Angloberry said:

the music comes first, with care and attention to those unexpected but just right chord changes that take you off to a place you weren't expecting to go to but always knew it would feel so right once you got there;

For me, THAT hits the nail right on the head. It is hard to explain -- people like rollercoasters more, when there's that unexpected turn. Excitement stems from the unexcpected. Now, of course, if one was a heavy metal fan, the unexpected turns of the Raspberries might not do much for them. I don't particularly like rollercoasters, so that unexpected turn doesn't do much for me. So, I guess the calculable part is, you first have to feel the genre of this type of music, and the unexpected "ride" of the composition just hits the emotions in an uncalculable way that heightens our enjoyment senses, just the right way, with the artists we love the most. And when it hits, that's what determines what we like more, or less.

Interestingly enough Eric, I think you KNOW what changes hits the emotions, as what hits you, seems to hit others. I think it was discussed several months earlier, how, when I have read your thoughts, in books, or here, how you go to great lengths to craft, mold, perfect, and even borrow, to create the right "rollercoaster ride."

For Brian Wilson, and McCartney-Lennon (and Chilton, and tons of others), drugs helped the auto-pilot of this craft. As unfortunate as this is, there's no denying certain hallucigenians enhance creativity, sometimes to boggling heights. Sometimes, it worked amazingly, and sometimes, unfortuately, the substance caused the crash. You are just cognizant how to do it as a craft.

:)

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Boy, are there a lot of really interesting and insightful points being made here! I am incredibly touched and flattered by everything I've read so far. I'll share my thoughts with you soon . ec

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ira   

It's unbelievable to me-that those 4 Raspberries songs I heard in college- (For some reason I never got the albums originally) and carried around in my head for years -would lead to the wonderful experience of being part of this extended family and part of the audience in Chicago,A.C.,and N.Y. Thank you everyone.

"If we close our eyes and believe...

It might come true".

(Eric Carmen-1973)

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Over the years I've listened to all types of music...Rock, pop, R & B, rap, bubblegum, soul whatever it was... if it was pleasing to my ears I would buy it and/or listen to it!

Eric Carmen and Raspberries music was always pleasing to my ears, but at a level over and above every other artist that I have ever listened to...I just never got tired of listening to any of your material. I guess I'm quite "shallow" when it comes to my musical tastes.. but as an artist, I would think you want to appeal to guys like me. "Wow, I like that song I think I'll go out and buy it!!!"

That being said...I've recently got hooked on the Bon Jovi song "Who says you can't go home".

Here's a group that have been around forever and bang out a great pop classic every once in a blue moon. The Raspberries could to the same thing...the general public doesn't care who the artist is...they just wants songs that sound good!

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darlene   

Great point, Harry! I agree. WSYCCH hooks me in every time I hear it, too. The guitar chords sound "very Raspberries." I can hear the Berries doing something even better.

:) --Darlene

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Bill C   

Eric,

I've read many of the posts here, and maybe someone has brought this up, but in addition to the great music there was another factor for me.

I was 12 when GATW hit the charts, which meant that I was truly too young to fully enjoy the excitement of the Beatles when they were the fun and charming "mop tops". Raspberries gave me a hope that music could be fun again, like it was when the Beatles came to America. Raspberries became the hope for me that my generation could experience what the Beatles gave to the 60's. Raspberries became my favorite team, and my mission was to get more fans for the team. The internet proved that I'm not the only one. There are others and their numbers continue to grow.

Congratulations on a remarkable past and a future that is limitless. I sure hope that all of these posts convince you how truly successful you really are, in all ways.

Thanks for how you and the guys have touched my life.

Bill Campbell

Minnesota

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Yes, the top 40 stations play a version without Jennifer Nettles all the time. There are also "New Jersey" commercials with the song in the background.

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Ecstasy   

I see Raspberry and Eric music from two different points of view. One of the things I was trying to teach Brian and Annie not too long ago was that the 60s and 70s brought about HUGE changes due to many of the things that were happening in our culture. We NEEDED happy, upbeat pop songs to "rescue" us because our reality was war, our political leaders being murdered, widespread drugs, etc... Well, can we really say that we don't need the same thing NOW when we're facing what's happening in our culture with terrorism and war, wider-spread drugs...? We NEED this type of music to lift us and heal us and give us some joy!

The other aspect of the music that touches me is the PASSION! The music is sheer joy and exuberance! But the lyrics --- that's where you get me. In direct opposition to today's music that demeans women and genuine love, your music esteems and values women(with the only exception being All Through the Night whose lyrics are a bit disturbing but music is amazing)and any women who was thought of in the manner you sing would be taken in by the passion and affection. That means something to a woman and always stays with them!

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pierre   

It still sounds fresh. There is no gimmickry - no "80s drum sound", no sitar solos, no duets with fading legends, no outside songwriters, no backwards messages (I hope)...just an excellent appreciation of the classics (in every sense of the word) infused with a startling creativity.

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Ecstasy, Just for the record, the lyrics for the verses of "All Through The Night" were written by Mike McBride. He brought in those verses and we took it from there. I added the music and we wrote the chorus together. The reason it wasn't played during the reunion tour is because I just couldn't bring myself to sing those lyrics again. You have to kind of believe in what you're saying or you can't get any passion into it. I just can't imagine singing that song today. ec

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James   

The same for me from a fan's perspective. I've outgrown the lyrics.....but the music to the song is still A-1.

Maybe we should have Tony Cartmill do one of his lyric re-writes so the song can be played live again?

....I'm always thinkin :cool:

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Bill C   

Eric, thanks for the insight on "All Through The Night". I often wondered where those lyrics came from. I know the 'berries were trying to ditch the clean cut image somewhat, but I couldn't really bring myself to like that song lyrically. I'm sure there are others who might claim that back then it was more appropriate, but even when I was younger I didn't really relate to the song. I guess it was more a rock & roll lifestyle thing.

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JohnO   

Regarding "All Through The Night".....I always just thought it was the band's (to use an expression I heard Eric say at the LA show) love letter to Rod Stewart & The Faces.....

(Eric was referring to "I Don't Know What I Want" as his love letter to The Who.)

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aggiesjc   

Was just listening to "All Through the Night" the other day, and it's such a great song except for those lyrics! Thanks for letting us know how you feel about it, Eric.

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Ecstasy   

Eric Carmen --- you, sir, are a gentleman! And you question why you have such a following of loyal fans?! Thank you for your explanation of the song. Like Bill C. I thought you were trying to break the unwarranted "teenybopper image" and was doing what you needed to do in the industry just to musically survive. When we hear your solo music and recognize the same passion, sexuality, and sensuality that we heard in the Raspberry music... well, let's just say that we know where your heart lies and have known all along. But it sure is thoughtful of you to show us that our faith is well-founded. The fact is, that song is too good to lose musically and I think we could "force ourselves"<smirk> to live with the lyrics if it meant getting to see you perform with the style and energy we've come to know and love. But then again, I'm not picky or demanding and love the rest of the music and am perfectly happy with your choices so rock on!

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AnniekNY   

So, Eric, it is fair to say that "All through the Night" is the Raspberries equivilent of "My Humps"?????!!!! :lol:

(please don't strangle me like Tony...I had to say it!!!)

So....unless you're waiting for more voices to be heard from (and I think it's a sign of how important and profound your question was that so many have put tremendous effort into their answers...)

what's your answer?

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...I hate the word 'hump.' it's ugly (although, granted, perhaps not as ugly as some other words used to describe various body parts/appendages). Plus, it makes me think of a mean old lady (not to mention other things...). I form an immediate aversion to anyone who refers to Wednesday as 'hump day.' Quasi Moto had a hump so therefore I hate him. It just goes on.

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